Discussion in 'Belgium' started by kiang, 22 Mar 2015.
I hope for Pongo abelii.
Very interesting news! If Planckendael again can pull off something alike the bonobo enclosure, they'll undoubtly have another great crowd pleaser. In contrast to @KevinB, I'm not all that said that the tropical walkthrough will be sacrificed for orangutans. I found it relatively underwhelming in comparison to other parts of the zoo.
It may however mean the loss of many birds, small mammals and maybe even the only reptile outside the little Australia house, reducing the collection's diversity. I hope that there'll be some room for a supporting cast, though looking at the bonobo enclosure I somehow doubt it.
I'm not even going to disagree with you that the Asian greenhouse walk-through was relatively underwhelming, but I am still conflicted about this change. For me personally the Asian greenhouse already lost much of its luster when they removed the small and medium aviaries within the hall and lost some interesting species with that.
Personally I think that the Asian section at Planckendael could definitely do with a better walk-through aviary of some kind, say something along the lines of the aviaries the African and American sections. It would probably work better than the greenhouse.
The pythons were already removed from the Asian greenhouse last summer, their exhibit has already been (temporarily?) renovated to hold the Luzon cloud rats.
You are not wrong about the bonobo house being only bonobos - despite the original plans including birds - so I'm not going to have very high hopes for other species.
A Kordofan giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis antiquorum) was born at Planckendael on Sunday. This is the last foal sired by the breeding male that unfortunately died in 2019.
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I am looking for the accurate data of the new bonobo enclosure (area, height, space). Thanks in advance...
More detailed plans are revealed last week and it appears that the orangs will be housed in a separate and new building, attached to and built in front of the Asia Greenhouse. There will be 5 (each between 300 and 400 m²) islands and the zoo intend to keep the orangs with the black-crested macaques and the gibbons.
The outside aviary between the greenhouse and the restaurant will be moved tot the other (lion) side; so far there’s no indication about the species it will hold.
These plans do not exclude in anyway the holding of birds, small mammals and reptiles in the main hall (although nothing is mentioned).
Indeed! Binturongs are also mentioned in the plans, which I don't think have been mentioned in this thread yet anywhere and would be a new species for Planckendael.
I'm fairly excited about this new development and happy that the new orangutan will take the form of an addition to the tropical hall instead of interfering with the current tropical hall too much - Hopefully this addition can also have a positive influence on the inside of the hall, by highlighting it and potentially removing the indoor gibbon island, which could improve the general organisation and look. I'm looking forward to the changes!
Detailed plans and the architect's notes in Dutch are available here (the list of downloadable pdf's, mainly the first and third file are relevant):
Omgevingsloket - Publiek loket
I welcome the addition of binturongs as I find them quite an interesting species.
The permit application unfortunately does not mention anything with regards to the fate of the existing Asian greenhouse. One can safely assume it will be undergoing some rather substantial changes to be connected to/integrated with the new orangutan house. But its future purpose and content still remain a mystery.
The cross-section profile ('terreinprofiel') that is also included with the files Vision linked to (which, by the way, will only be available as long as the permit application is in public consultation, so download them ASAP) indicated that the new orangutan house will be a fair bit higher than the existing Asian greenhouse (which itself isn't that low). So presumably there will be some effects on the light exposure of the existing Asian greenhouse, and I don't know what that means for its future purpose.
There has been some (unofficial and unconfirmed) talk in Dutch zoo nerd media of the existing greenhouse becoming at least partially an indoor playground and/or restaurant area, and these plans don't take that off the table. I really, really hope that does not come to fruition, or at least not for the entirety of the building. I really hope that the Asian greenhouse will continue to provide at least some space for bird and small mammal species, as I think that would very nicely compliment the orangutan, binturong, otter, macaque and gibbon house and islands.
It has been confirmed in the architect's draft that the species they are most likely to get are Bornean. To be honest I'm not surprised - given that Antwerp has a historical record of keeping the species, and that the only Belgian zoos with orangutans (Monde Sauvage and Pairi Daiza) both keep Sumatran, so there's certainly room in the Belgian zoo world for Bornean holders.
The first European white storks of Planckendael's large colony have already returned, substantially earlier than they normally would, possibly due to the mild weather. Ten individual have already returned, adding to the twenty non-migrating birds that stay in Planckendael all year round. When I visited a couple of weeks ago I did notice that some storks were already on their nest and displaying early nesting/courtship behaviors. I've never seen it that early in the year before.
The article below also says that five stork nesting platforms have been placed in the nature reserve "De Zegge" in Geel, Belgium. That nature reserve is owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp that also owns Zoo Antwerpen, Zoo Planckendael and the Serpentarium in Blankenberge (Belgian coast) but is not accessible to the public. Storks already visit "De Zegge" and they hope to establish breeding pairs in the area.
Vroege vogels in Planckendael en De Zegge: “Hopen op een koppeltje”
The latest Bonobo-baby is a female .
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